So you’ve hired your storage space, you’ve got the keys in hand and you’re ready to start loading in! But what’s the best way to layout your storage space? There’s a range of questions you need to ask yourself to organise your unit in the most helpful way. Here’s a series of questions to ask yourself and ideas to help you make the most of your new storage space.
What will you need to access regularly or at a moment’s notice? Think carefully about what should be easily accessible and what items you’re less likely to need regular access to. Unfortunately some items will need to be stored at the back, so it pays to think carefully about what those items will be to save hassle later on down the line. If you’re able to, try to build in a central pathway through the unit so you can access each section of it. That way, you can line the aisle with those items you might need easy access to.
Make a plan. This is such an important step that many people often neglect but it truly pays to plan ahead and make a detailed plan! Once you know exactly what it is you’re storing, draw a layout trying to estimate size and scale as best as possible. We can’t all be expert map drawers, but do your best to be realistic about what you can fit in and where. Don’t assume your large long sofa to be too small otherwise you’ll end up with far less room than you were expecting. Try to keep related items together in sections, i.e. all kitchen boxes together.
Load in the larger items first. In your plan, you should aim to load in larger pieces of furniture and utility machines first. Line the back and sides of the space with these and if you store long items on their ends or sides it may help to save space. But, be sure the items can sit safe and stable in those position. You’ll also want to be sure that stack large items on their sides won’t damage the structure of the item. For example, if you’re storing a sofa on its side for a long period of time, its internal structure may weaken and break. Be careful in your analysis of your furniture and play it safe if you’re unsure.
Load in and stick to the plan! Do your best to stick to your drawn out plan, but don’t panic if things need to change. If you need to alter and improvise, simply update your drawn plan and make as many notes as possible. You’ll be thankful for it years down the line when you return to the space and have no memory of where that one tiny box might be!
Safety and easy access. It can be tempting to fill up your storage unit right up to the front doors. Where possible, leave a clear aisle through the unit, even better of you can have more than one pathway if the storage space is particularly large. Ensure any stacked items are secure and unlikely to collapse of cascade into the aisles. Also try to keep as much space as possible between your items and the storage unit’s doors. The last thing you need is an avalanche of items as soon as you open the door! Some items can also fall against the door and cause problems when trying to open it from the outside. Be honest with yourself and think about the size of your space. If you aren’t able to build in an aisle and leave space around the door, then maybe you need a larger storage facility for your items.